Friday, June 11, 2010

Bird is the Word~ Balsamic Glazed Cornish Game Hen

So it's not the most artistic photograph, but doesn't the chicken below look tasty? Cornish game hens are small, delicious chickens. They are the perfect size for an individual (I usually have extra that I use to top salads the next day, but my husband always finishes his!) and are a beautiful protein to serve at a dinner party or on a special occasion. I love the way the balsamic glaze looks rich and inviting~ the chicken underneath is so tender and juicy too. I make my hens on the rotisserie attachment for my grill (LOVE IT!), but you can just as easily use a roasting pan in your oven. Usually I serve this dish with grilled asparagus, roasted garlic mashed potatoes or grilled potatoes and crusty french bread. Enjoy!

Serves: 2-3


1/4 cup olive oil
2 cornish game hens (these come frozen)
1/3 stick softened butter
kosher salt
black pepper
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp. honey
3 mashed cloves of garlic

Place thawed hens in a resealable bag with 4 cups of water and 1/3 cup kosher salt. Let this sit in the fridge for up to 6 hours (this step seasons the chicken all the way through). Bring vinegar, oil, honey, garlic, salt and pepper to a boil, then reduce until you have about half of your original liquid. Allow to cool completely. Make a small tear in the skin of each bird, then, using your fingers, gently rub the butter all of each bird between the skin and the flesh. Liberally salt and pepper the outside of the birds.

**On the grill: Turn on the rotisserie panel and allow grill to heat. Place the birds close together on the rotisserie, then cook approximately 2 hours, basting frequently with the balsamic reduction in the last 10 or so minutes. Cool for 10+ minutes then serve.
In the oven: Roast the birds over medium heat (probably about 350) for approximately 60 minutes before brushing on the marinade. Cook the birds another 20 or so minutes (basting frequently). Allow the birds to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

**I don't ever oven roast my birds, so these times/temperatures are an approximation. Keep and eye on the birds~ they'll be done when the juices run clear!

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